THE 10 BEST Neighborhoods In Irvine For 2020


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in Irvine are the best of the best.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best neighborhoods to live in Irvine.
Best Neighborhoods In Irvine
Source: Public domain

Do you like your neighborhood?

Is it friendly, and where everyone knows their neighbors?

No matter if you live in the sticks or in an apartment building in downtown Irvine, you have a little pocket that you can call home. And each neighborhood is different.

Smaller neighborhoods usually have obvious benefits -- less crime, a slower pace of life, and a lower cost of living. But not all Irvine neighborhoods are created equal. Some are better than others. But which ones?

Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and find out which neighborhoods in Irvine are the best. If you're in one of the places we're about to highlight, odds are you know you've got it made. So, if you're thinking of moving to California and Irvine is on the top of your list, check out our best neighborhoods to live in.

So what's the best neighborhood to live in Irvine for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Shady Canyon looks to be the best Irvine neighborhood to live in.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Irvine that deserve a little bragging rights or maybe you're interested in the worst neighborhoods in Irvine.

Once you're done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from best to worst.

For more California reading, check out:

The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Irvine

Population: 864
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $1,255,000 (Second best)
Median Income: $117,143 (Fourth best)
More on Shady Canyon: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 23,037
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $597,469 (11th best)
Median Income: $108,066 (Fifth best)
More on West Park: Homes For Sale | Data

Turtle Rock Irvine, CA

Population: 10,223
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,168,567 (Third best)
Median Income: $134,619 (Second best)
More on Turtle Rock: Homes For Sale | Data

Turtle Rock is a neighborhood in the south part of Irvine, Orange County, California near Concordia University, Irvine and the University of California, Irvine. It is bounded to the north by University Drive and Mason Regional Park, to the east by the Strawberry Farms Golf Club and Ridgeline Drive, to the south by Shady Canyon Drive, and to the west by Culver Drive. Turtle Rock is one of the five "villages" originally forming Irvine; its 1967 founding is commemorated by a sculpture of a turtle in Turtle Rock Community Park, at the corner of Turtle Rock and Sunnyhill Drives. A two-lane internal loop road, Turtle Rock Drive, encircles the village and carries traffic between housing developments and the city's main streets.

Woodbridge Irvine, CA

Population: 25,315
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $633,965 (Ninth best)
Median Income: $100,560 (11th best)
More on Woodbridge: Homes For Sale | Data

Woodbridge is a large suburban housing development, begun in 1975 by The Irvine Company, in the central region of Irvine, California. It covers roughly four square miles and has two large artificial lakes at its center. It contains five elementary schools, two middle schools, and Woodbridge High School. The Interstate 405 forms its southern boundary. Most of the developments were completed by the mid-1990s. In 2013 development began on the first new housing tract in 15 years, consisting of 48 new homes called The Branches.

Northwood Irvine, CA

Source: Public domain

Population: 24,509
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $634,894 (Eighth best)
Median Income: $107,068 (Sixth best)
More on Northwood: Homes For Sale | Data

Northwood is a community encompassing the northern portions of the city of Irvine, in Orange County, California. It covers the area enclosed by the Santa Ana Freeway, Culver Drive, Portola Parkway and Jeffrey Road.

Population: 4,857
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $1,030,700 (Fourth best)
Median Income: $167,331 (First best)
More on Northwood Point: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 22,899
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $550,580 (14th best)
Median Income: $106,423 (Eighth best)
More on Lower Peters Canyon: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 9,197
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $640,100 (Seventh best)
Median Income: $99,164 (12th best)
More on Walnut Village: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 8,436
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $582,867 (12th best)
Median Income: $101,097 (Tenth best)
More on University Park: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 11,939
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $610,700 (Tenth best)
Median Income: $106,515 (Seventh best)
More on Oak Creek: Homes For Sale | Data

How We Determined The Best Irvine, CA Neighborhoods In 2020

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Irvine, we had to determine what criteria defines a "best".

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 24 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the "Best City Neighborhood In Irvine." We're lookin' at you, Shady Canyon.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best places Irvine, California has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In Irvine

If you're measuring the neighborhoods in Irvine where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Irvine aren't all good. Great Park takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in Irvine.

We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Irvine For 2020

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Shady Canyon 864 $1,255,000 $117,143
2 West Park 23,037 $597,469 $108,066
3 Turtle Rock 10,223 $1,168,567 $134,619
4 Woodbridge 25,315 $633,965 $100,560
5 Northwood 24,509 $634,894 $107,068
6 Northwood Point 4,857 $1,030,700 $167,331
7 Lower Peters Canyon 22,899 $550,580 $106,423
8 Walnut Village 9,197 $640,100 $99,164
9 University Park 8,436 $582,867 $101,097
10 Oak Creek 11,939 $610,700 $106,515
11 Quail Hill 648 $1,664,400 $120,536
12 El Camino Real 16,122 $507,458 $97,893
13 Uc Irvine 14,912 $266,700 $43,060
14 Turtle Ridge 3,764 $449,500 $106,084
15 El Toro Marine Air Station 629 $854,400 $86,859
16 University Town Center 6,715 $301,160 $38,634
17 East Industrial Complex 1,581 $512,767 $76,228
18 Spectrum 3,721 $685,300 $79,476
19 Research Park 1,438 $398,200 $46,429
20 Irvine Health And Science Complex 6,367 $552,375 $73,873
21 Rancho San Joaquin 4,212 $194,933 $61,141
22 San Joaquin Marsh 1,298 $515,450 $85,750
23 Business District 7,336 $377,650 $82,278
24 Great Park 185 $61,600 $25,179

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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